God Offers So Much More
Yesterday, Anita and I were tooling along through East Texas, up one hill and down another and marveling at all that God had done in that part of Texas. Sometimes, you almost feel like you are on a roller coaster as you travel through those hills and valleys. It is just a fun ride.
With all of the fun aside, I marveled from one point to another how awesome the landscape was. I particularly like hills and mountains and that is what really thrills me. Others like desert sand and the vast emptiness of that creation. There is beauty to be seen no matter where you are and what you are looking at. And, it is awe inspiring to know that you can travel the same roads over and over and still see something new each time. Have you ever experienced anything like that? Have you?
How is it that we can get in the car and marvel more at God’s influence but stagger around in the Scriptures looking for something that makes sense? You know the feeling. One of the most common religious phrases spoken concerns the difficulty of understanding the Bible. We have been sold a bill of goods over the years thinking that only the “professionals” could understand the Bible. Well, who are the professionals? Is it the preachers? Man, there are some of us who are more confused than anyone? Is it the college professors? Have you heard some of the stuff some of them are professing? Who are the professionals?
There are obviously those who “labor in the Word” who are more astute and more aware than others. At the same time, there are some who “were” students of the Word at one time and are now running on the same tank of fuel from that bygone day. There are those who are perpetual students, struggling day after day to probe and understand and to teach. Most of the time you will find, among these the people who know and understand, that it doesn’t matter how many times you travel the study road, every time you will see something a little more awesome.
But what about Billy Ray Buckwheat Bible Bubba? What is there for him to see? Can it be seen and can it be known by the “non-professionals?” (By the way, I think that professional thing is a bunch of baloney). Does God hide Himself so that it takes some superior expertise to have Himself exposed? Billy Ray might have a little difficulty on his own, but that is what teachers are for. Some see more, and therefore, have the responsibility to share that insight. At the same time, it is important that those of us who cannot see as much for ourselves become real students, learning and probing for ourselves.
I don’t know about you, but I want to see and know all I can in this life about God and His working. I want to look beyond the common and the often trodden and see what is out there. I do not want to make up one single thing. I just want to explore and be amazed at the majestic character of my God.
To be able to do that it take a few things and I just want to remind you to think about these.
No matter how old you are, some of the influences you have had in your life are not correct. Things we have learned, we learned from imperfect people. But, one wrong assumptive principle in our mind will completely shut off our sight in seeing other things. So, I must be willing to challenge everything I believe, regularly. I must get to the point that I am not intimidated and reluctant to look, feel and touch that which might be unfamiliar to me.
Another thing, I must never totally and completely trust those who have been my teachers. It does not matter if they were kin or friend. I have, at some point, to reach out and grab on to a principle or an understanding because I understand it and not someone else. All of us must get to a point where we “own” what we know and get away from being a repeater of that which was told us.
I believe if we are willing to be uncomfortable sometime when we explore and a little rattled a few times when we have to come face to face with things that are different from that which we have thought all our lives, it will make us grow.
And remember this. Just like riding through the hills of East Texas seeing new sights along the way, if you see it standing over there… it is there! It doesn’t matter if someone told you at some point and time that it was not. Did you see it? Yes! Well, it is there. Did someone say it wasn’t? Sure did! Well, let me ask again… “Do you see it? Who cares what they think!”
Get out there and let’s see how much more of God we might see if we but take the time to look. Hey, be afraid. God will scare you sometimes!